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What's What in the Workplace: Comparing Terms

Flexible seating vs. Hot desking

Definition

First there were cubicles, then there was the open office, now we’re somewhere in the middle. Many modern workplaces try to incorporate a mix of open and closed spaces to accommodate for different personalities, work styles, and tasks. 

Because many employees don’t sit at desk all day every day, flexible seating was incorporated to account for their mobility during the day and also get more out of a valuable office asset: seats. Flexible seating is an umbrella terms used to talk about hot desking, desk hoteling, reverse desk hoteling, activity based work, flex desking, neighborhoods, zones, domains, and more. Typically, flexible seating helps when a company is experiencing growing pains and needs more seats or if they notice a significant fraction of their employees don’t need a dedicated seat during the workday. 

As noted, hot desking falls under the umbrella of flexible seating. Hot desking is when employees can book a desk for a day or even just a few hours during the day. Hot desking is ideal for people who don’t need a desk all day like managers in and our of meetings or traveling sales people only in the office for half a particular day.


Related Terms

Activity-based work (ABW)Reverse desk hotelingOpen office vs. Activity-based workplace

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